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Thread: Table Top Buttons - Link to Tutorial Video

  1. #1
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    Table Top Buttons - Link to Tutorial Video

    The following link is to the blog Gunpowder Woodworks and in it Mark Hockstein demonstrates a very quick and accurate way to cut the buttons that attach a table top to the apron. He got the idea from Chuck Bender of Acanthus Workshop. Mark's post is titled "Why You Should Take Classes From Master Cabinetmakers", and I can attest that the reasons he gives are very true. When you take a class from a master, you pick up so many incidental tips that are priceless.

    Check out the video, as I am interested if others find it a great way to make these buttons.
    “When love and skill work together, expect a masterpiece.” - John Ruskin
    “Nowadays people know the price of everything and the value of nothing.” - Oscar Wilde

  2. #2
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    Bill there is no doubt in my mind as to the merits of taking a class. I even think just among us there is lots to learn from people that have or do this as a profession or are more frequently getting to do woodworking in their shop.

    The problem i find is life and the gaps between shop sessions gets in the way. So what i got up to speed with say 6 months ago, i end up having to go back and learn again.

    There is a skill in woodworking which to me involves hours of practice and willingness to do it again. But if you leave it and do a gazillion other things in between well you dont quiet go back to square one but the muscle memory sure aint their from the last time you did it.

    I think the key lesson i would learn and retain from seeing these guys work is their organization, manners of approach to a task and way they go about woodworking in general.

    I guess its a bit different for the guys who are retired and have little else to distract them other than housework and the honey do list.

    I can quiet see why the spinny guys go at it on the lathe and do mostly lathe work. Just take using a skew. You gotta practice with that tool and you gotta set up your sharpener system to be able to touch up the tool. Now if you leave it and go back to it after messing with half a dozen other things in between, you got to start again.

    I think we hobbiests need to be real about the fact that we cannot hope to pick up a craftsmans life time of learning in hours.

    Heck lets go back to the old days. We had a Journeyman setup shop somewhere as a craftsman. His apprentice was at it for years observing and assisting and making his own tools. And that apprentice did not have any dependents or family to interact with. He was indentured one step from being a slave. That in my view allowed for focus and we talking young minds.

    The tools we can purchase today i think can contribute towards a bit of de-skilling of the craft but just think of it. You putting in 2 solid weeks at shop class right now. How many hours or weeks does that mean under normal life conditions. How long does it take the weekend warrior to get what essentially equates to 14 days of shop time.

    I bet that is at least on average at best 3 months. Then try to have that warrior do what he did in the first hours of the first day again at the end of the 3 months after having lived a working life. Its no wonder so few really young guys get into the hobby. Regardless of the cost which again adds a significant hurdle.

    I do think the class with the instructor and master would make for an excellent experience. For me it would be one of my best holidays in my life. I aint one for sitting on a beach baking to death to go and cool off and do it again and repeat the process for a week or two. I go nuts after 1 hour. Different if i have a fishing pole in my hand though.


    Be interested like you to see what others think. Good stimulus for a debate.
    cheers

  3. #3
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    At the risk of sounding rude ( I am not trying to be rude!) I don't agree with most of what you are saying. When I learn something it's mine, and I don't forget it. I think that if you are shown something you can forget it, but if you LEARN it, really LEARN it, it's yours.
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
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    Stuart, I'd agree and disagree. I agree that its really hard to learn without doing and just showing someone doesn't really cut the mustard. However... A good teacher doesn't just show, a good teacher challenges and highlights. A lot of doing is knowing whats possible, and frankly there is a lot of possible I still don't know about. I believe that good help can show you possibilities and help you teach yourself how to reach them.

  5. #5
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    That tip is really slick I never in a lifetime would of thought of stacking a dado set with a saw blade.
    Faith, Hope & Charity

  6. #6
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    thanks bill,, that is slick

    woooops just had my brain engage,, wont the 10" blade be right against the dado teeth? if so when you tighten it down your putting stress on the teeth and also could be deflecting the 10" blade??
    Last edited by larry merlau; 07-24-2012 at 12:41 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by larry merlau View Post
    thanks bill,, that is slick

    woooops just had my brain engage,, wont the 10" blade be right against the dado teeth? if so when you tighten it down your putting stress on the teeth and also could be deflecting the 10" blade??
    Yeah, but a couple of the dado shims between the dado and the 10" blade will correct that.
    Jim D.
    Adapt, Improvise, Overcome!

  8. #8
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    But Rob did you like the button making technique?


    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Keeble View Post
    I even think just among us there is lots to learn from people that have or do this as a profession or are more frequently getting to do woodworking in their shop.
    Rob, I agree to an extent. I took a class from Chris Schwarz last year. He is a very bright guy who has been intensely studying the techniques of 18 century woodworking for a decade or so. He also is extremely well organized and a natural teacher. What he is not, is a master woodworker who has been working at producing fine furniture for 35 to 40 years. If I wanted to take a class on the basics of hand tool techniques, I would go take a class from him. But if I wanted to know how to design and construct fine furniture, with all the nuances that exists in such an endeavor I would take a class from someone like Garrett Hack, Chuck Bender, Michael Fortune, etc. Then when you introduce your average experienced hobbyist woodworker as a teacher, I am afraid they just can’t compete in the breadth and depth of knowledge. That is the point the blogger is making, I still agree with him on that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Keeble View Post
    The problem i find is life and the gaps between shop sessions gets in the way. So what i got up to speed with say 6 months ago, i end up having to go back and learn again.

    There is a skill in woodworking which to me involves hours of practice and willingness to do it again. But if you leave it and do a gazillion other things in between well you dont quiet go back to square one but the muscle memory sure aint their from the last time you did it.
    I think we all understand and have experienced the same thing. Remember, I am not retired either. We all have different depths of involvement in this hobby. None are better than another; they are just a result of the different priorities we assign to woodworking. When you work in a vacuum without any instruction your learning takes much longer. What is really missing is instant feedback so that you understand what is correct or incorrect. One of students came to my current class with less than stellar sharpening skills. Garrett Hack worked with him on and off during the first day and now the guy is a sharpening fool, who can put a wicked edge on a blade. Before the class he used a jig and now he is free hand sharpening. Trust me, he may have to relearn the muscle memory, but he will not forget the knowledge of what is flat and what is sharp. Muscle memory is just temporary and knowledge is more long lasting.


    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Keeble View Post
    I think we hobbiests need to be real about the fact that we cannot hope to pick up a craftsmans life time of learning in hours.
    As I mentioned we have each assigned different priorities to woodworking. I am only suggesting that if you want to really elevate your skills and you decide to make it a priority in your life, the quickest path to your goal is a class with a true master. Besides it is a kick to be around a group of people with the same attitude, soaking up knowledge from someone truly expert in their field.
    “When love and skill work together, expect a masterpiece.” - John Ruskin
    “Nowadays people know the price of everything and the value of nothing.” - Oscar Wilde

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Satko View Post
    When you take a class from a master, you pick up so many incidental tips that are priceless.
    I agree although I have never taken a class. The things I pick up "in the background" watching videos by folks like Garrett Hack, Gary Rogowski, Chris Becksvoort and the like are extremely beneficial. I often reinvent the wheel but, just as often I learn from those who have already done that ;-)

    One thing on the article that I didn't see mentioned. Be sure to use enough shims between your outer dado plate and your 10" blade to create a clearance for the outer dado plate teeth. Compressing your dado's teeth into your 10" blade can cause all sorts of grief.
    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
    - Arthur C. Clarke

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